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Complaining about earmarks is dumb

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by sdaniels7114, May 21, 2009.

  1. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I've grown tired of earmarks being the hip thing to complain about. It makes little sense. Complaints about spending are one thing, but to single out the earmark process in a general sense is not the same thing. When an earmark is created its somebody you've heard of (and can fire by voting against them) going out on a limb and putting their name on a specific piece of spending. The alternative is handing out huge amounts of money to bureaucrats you can't vote against and letting them make the decisions. Now obviously its an option to just not spend the money at all, but I'd like to set that aside and focus this thread on the process, assuming its not optional to not spend.

    What would you rather have? Accountability in your elected leaders or them being able to hide behind a faceless wall of bureaucrats who take the blame? I much prefer the scenario where stupid spending bill #243,908 can be blamed on someone who can be fired by the voters.
     
  2. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ya pretty much nailed it. Add to that, that everybody's own earmarks are okay (If we didn't study bees at my local university, we wouldn't know about 43,299 threatened habitats that bees are related to...) but nobody can stand the earmarks next door. (Why, that recreation center is the biggest boondoggle some other state ever came up with!)

    It's assinine, because a guy's own district votes on him bringing home the bacon, across the board. Who gives a shlitz. In your own district, the much-maligned overpass is a construction project. The much-maligned study is environmental progress (and an employment project, depending on how many bee-counters you need.) Your own district is who elects you. So... DUH.

    PFnV
     
  3. cupofjoe1962

    cupofjoe1962 In the Starting Line-Up

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    If the president had the line item veto authority, it would eliminate a good portion of the waistful spending.

    As usual the supreme court got it wrong when they ruled against the
    line item veto.
     
  4. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    No, the alternative is to cut federal spending so we can pay down our out of control debt and let locals and states pay for what they really want. If they don't want it enough to fund it themselves they don't really want it. This is what's wrong with the country, your only alternative to spending is spending.
     
  5. sdaniels7114

    sdaniels7114 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    One benefit to eliminating earmarks is that the old system presumably had government experts making the call, which makes a certain amount of sense. National officeholders are by definition generalists and aren't necessarily qualified to make specific decisions. Of course I expect Bill Gates is an awful software coder relative to the people he employs, yet he's clearly made outstanding decisions in control of their actions.

    You never hear that argument though. Its always stuff like Belichickfan's above comment, which is basically earmarks=spending=bad. IE not very insightful IMO. We have to spend some money, I think its good to put the responsibility in the hands of people who can be held accountable.
     
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm fine with spending money. But the feds shouldn't be doling out money for what they think sounds cool. We should be cutting spending at the federal level and pushing down spending to the local/state level. For two reasons, one is the closer you are the more you know what is really needed. And second, if people saw the spending from lower levels they would feel more ownership as they could more realistically vote the guys they don't like out.

    I don't care if I'm insightful as long as I'm correct and I'm convinced I am. Federal spending should be limited to national defense, interstate highways, etc, not pet projects for this state or that.
     
  7. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    It won't happen but what would be nice is the practice of hiding earmarks in a bill intended for something else. This is one area where we need to demand more accountability from our leaders. This is how Bush fueled the war ... by handing out pork that was buried in the war spending bills. So they make those bills too big for anyone to read ... and we all know the rest. This would be a good mission for Ron Paul ... even if he wrote it they would never approve of such a measure.
     
  8. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not sure how you can say Supreme Court got it wrong, both sides made compelling arguments and the decision was interesting.. without regard it was a blow to Clinton who wanted to make things different than they were.. this was one of the things that Reagan and Clinton had in common.
     

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